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Old October 8, 2005, 11:56 PM   #1
DSGB610
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Effective Range Of An Ak 47/ 7.62x39

How Many Yards Is The Ak Good For, Ammo??
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Old October 9, 2005, 12:03 AM   #2
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The ammo is probably good for about 200 yards. My AK and I are only good for about 100 yards.
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Old October 9, 2005, 12:15 AM   #3
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Well, that all depends on what "effective" means to you.


A 124gr projectile doing 900fps is going to do quite a number on someone. Even at 750fps. Now, just use a ballistics calculator to find out how far an x39 has to go before it drops to that speed.
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Old October 9, 2005, 01:39 AM   #4
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The Russians considered the effective range to be 400 meters.

Whether the typical AK-47 would be capable of sufficient accuracy to hit a man at that range is debatable, as is the ability of the shooter to do so considering the AK's sights and trigger.
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Old October 9, 2005, 03:02 AM   #5
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Arsenal AK with decent 0 magnification glass here.

I think I could hit someone in the torso out to 300 yards. My gun is barely capable of nailing bowling pins at 100m with a hot barrel and high crosswinds. Even so, a bowling pin is barely head-sized, so this isnt really too bad.

I wouldnt want to be hit by an AK round at any range. The bullet maintains a fairly beefy amount of velocity even out to 500+ yards (1000+ fps). The main shortcomings of the AK and its cartridge are the accuracy, trajectory and sights. But if you can hit someone, they will go down. Especially if youre using expanding ammo.

If 6.8SPC ever becomes available in bulk (and in non-custom guns) I might switch over to that, but I think that is a long way off. Having to pay an enormous premium for a 6.8 chambered gun and pay 20-30 bucks for a box of ammo that would cost 1.50-2.00 in 7.62x39 just doesnt seem worth the extra 200 yards in theoretical effective range. For that kind of money, I can feed my bolt action and reach to 800+ yards. Also, to hell with the stoner action. I would rather miss 10 times at 500 yards than jam once at 20.
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Old October 9, 2005, 03:15 AM   #6
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A .311 caliber rifle bullet is going to be fairly effective even at moderate velocity. Remember that the bullet has twice the mass of the lesser caliber rounds so it isn't as dependent on velocity and fragmentation to be effective. I would certainly think it would be dangerous out to 300 or 400 meters or more. With my WASR, I know I can put rounds center of mass out to at least 200 yards with the Mojo ghost rings and Wolf ammo. If I could prone out and had the time to aim and initiate contact, I could make life very difficult probably to twice that range.
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Old October 9, 2005, 04:22 AM   #7
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An AK bullet hitting you at 400 yds is going to ruin your day --same at
600 yds. However, effective use of iron sights on the rifle itself will
limit you in real world conditions to about 200 yds. The SKS will do
better out to 300 yds. Adding a scope helps a little, but the round
just isn't very good past 300 yds.

The AK is really designed for <200 yds used in mass volume with other
soldiers on the assault.
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Old October 9, 2005, 07:56 AM   #8
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A buddy of mine and I used to clang his 3' circular steel plate with boring regularity at 600m with a box stock AK and cheap ammo.

Theory be damned... Don't expose yourself to a fair to middlin' AK shooter intent on doing you harm at 600m. All they have to do is adjust the sights and hammer away.

You might be permanently surprized...

$bob$
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Old October 9, 2005, 09:23 AM   #9
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The Ak is designed for 300 meter engagements. That means put the sights on center of mass, and it's accurate enough to hit somewhere on the torso. That's the accuracy standard. That's the baseline, if they don't meet that they are substandard. Naturally, that being the standard, quite a few will shoot better than that, and some will be tack drivers. That's just manufacturing tolerances working.

That round itself is a good 400 meter round for its intended purpose. Though I have read several accounts of spent bullets hitting men and stil going through-and-through. The range wasn't specified (or known) but it was long enough for the bullet to no longer be spin stabilised, so it also wasn't moving THAT fast.

The range capabilities of the AK, SKS and the ballistics of the 7.62x39mm are most often maligned because most people just don't shoot notch-and-post sights with a short sight radius all that well. Even fewer bother to zero their AKs.
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Old October 9, 2005, 03:35 PM   #10
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I consider my Yugo SKS with 122 gr Wolf FMJ to be a 200 yd carbine on a good day; 250 on a great day. The principal limitation is not the round itself but the trigger and the sights of the weapon. Not much compared to an M1 and pitiful next to a good scoped bolt rifle; but considering the general level of marksmanship in the world today a well handled SKS is probably something to take seriously. Most rifle action has historically taken place at 150 yards and under anyway.

For that matter a #1 Mk. III .303 Lee Enfield is still pretty capable, too...mine is dated 1917.
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Old October 9, 2005, 04:39 PM   #11
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First off - I'm a huge fan of the M43 round. Not too much, not too little - just right for most stuff that I do. Having said that, lets face facts; while making hits is certainly possible past 300 yards, the trajectory and energy figures at extended ranges aren't all that swell. It's just not designed for that.

With a 175yrd zero, you can be +-3" out to 200 yards and +-8" in drift in a 10mph crosswind; certainly good enough for most minute-of-torso work. But at 300 yards, that round will be down almost 20" and sinking fast, will have experienced almost two feet of wind drift in that 10mph crosswind, and will just about ready to transition from supersonic to subsonic flight. At 600 yards, that same bullet will be seventeen FEET below the original point of aim, will have drifted over six feet sideways in that 10mph crosswind, will be moving less than 1000fps and will have taken almost a second and a half to get there. In other words, it'll hit at 600 yards with the energy of a soft 38 Special pistol round at close range (not great, but not foamy nerfballs filled with marshmallow love, either) but the likelihood that you'll connect with a live target is greater not than so.

But inside of 200-250 yards, I think that it's just the bees knees.
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Old October 9, 2005, 05:27 PM   #12
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The M43 round is no longer produced. It has been entirely superseded by the M67 projectile. If you do not beleive me, section a wolf FMJ and tell me what you see in the front half of the bullet- nothing.

All modern AK rounds yaw early and yaw often. Some even fragment. The days of "go through 3 people and tumble in the 4th" are long over.
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Old October 9, 2005, 06:06 PM   #13
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I was using M43 in the colloquial sense, not to indicate projectile construction. The exterior ballistic performance of the round will be largely as stated regardless of the terminal ballistics performance.
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Old October 9, 2005, 08:22 PM   #14
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you can buy poo loads of surplus m43 up here in canada. It's 160$ canadian (3.12$ US) for 1200 rounds. its czech stuff.
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Old October 9, 2005, 08:28 PM   #15
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My effective range under field conditions is about 100 yards. That is a stock AK with stock trigger and sights using el cheapo Wolf ammo. Also that is standing or kneeling.

Give me a red dot or a scope and let me shoot off a bench or prone and you can easily double that.


A stock AR-15 is a 200-300 rifle no problem. Someone that can shoot well and you can double that as well. Better sights, better trigger and flatter shooting and more accurate. Much better for hitting what you aim at.
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Old October 9, 2005, 08:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
The M43 round is no longer produced. It has been entirely superseded by the M67 projectile. If you do not beleive me, section a wolf FMJ and tell me what you see in the front half of the bullet- nothing.
No. The problem is that as the result of Olympic Arms chambering an AR pistol in 7.62x39, the BATF ruled that the caliber was handgun ammo, and therefore it would be illegal to import and sell ammo with a steel core. So, M43 Ball, which has a steel core, is no longer able to be imported.

IIRC, Wolf is FMJ-BT, while the Yugo M67 Ball is flatbase.
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Old October 9, 2005, 09:13 PM   #17
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That's why I handload my 7.62x39 ammo.

Quote:
The M43 round is no longer produced. It has been entirely superseded by the M67 projectile. If you do not beleive me, section a wolf FMJ and tell me what you see in the front half of the bullet- nothing.
I use the Hornady 123gr FMJ, Lapua 123gr FMJ, or surplus 123gr FMJ imported bullets through Wideners.

Just the bee's knees for clanging 500 meter steel silhouettes with my SLR-95!
(Neither my SLR-95 nor my SAR-1 has ever had that steel-cased crap fed through it...)
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Old October 9, 2005, 09:28 PM   #18
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On a fairly calm day, on a one way rifle range, from a prone position, using an SKS with Cheetah ammo, I can hit an IDPA silhouette every time at 400 yards.
That is a far cry from field condtions, but it is an indication as to what is possible. The most critical part of that shot is that I know the range to the target. The 7.62x39 is not a flat shooting cartridge and knowing the range, so that you can accurately adjust your rear sight is critical.
I am quite sure that if you were hit with the fired round at 400 yards, it would go right through you.
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:01 PM   #19
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Standing up, with a PKAS red dot, I put all thirty in a 12" circle with the VEPR. On a rest, a six shot group measured 1/2" wide, 2 1/2" high. This at 100 yards, no wind. And I think Iwould rather have a cheap AK, with a good sight, than the reverse. OH, except that the VEPR has a stock sized for Westerners.
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:21 PM   #20
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At 300 yards, with a Saiga sporter, cheap sling, 1" buttpad extension, firing from the low kneeling, I can keep a full magazine of 30 rounds on paper firing as quickly as I regain sight picture. I can get 15-25 of those in the black.

From the standing at 200, I can keep at least 25 rounds in the black firing in the same rapid manner. From the low kneeling, and from the bench, my dad and I have both shot sub-MOA groups. Don't misunderstand, it is NOT a sub-MOA weapon, but it is possible.

For practical purposes, it will hit a 9", (Male chest) target at 300 yards, no problem.

The Saiga is considered a "high-end" AK by some, but my Dad bought it here in Cali when they were still legal for about $300 or less. Not sure what the go for right now in the free U.S.
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Old October 10, 2005, 01:28 PM   #21
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Yesterday, at Knob Creek, I had my Romanian AKM build out with some Barnaul 123 grain HP. Some bowling pins and similar items were set out at the end of the range, at the base of the hill. This is about 330 yards. Using the magazine as a monopod, I was able to hit the bowling pins pretty frequently.

At Gunsite, I used an AK-74 equipped with a PK-01V red dot all the way out to 300 meters (or yards... cant remember). Taking my time, I was able to get hits just as well as the other shooters equipped with M16's, as well as a scoped HK-91. Another fellow near me, a recently returned SF member, was using a Polytech AK in 7.62x39. He did even better then me, able to make consistent hits on the tiny little metal plates they placed out at 250 yards on demand...

The AK is more accurate then most people give it credit for, just as the M16 is more reliable then most people believe...
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Old October 10, 2005, 03:21 PM   #22
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I see for myself what any firearm is "good for", whether its an AK, AR, or a 1911, in my hands.

I define it thusly (for me): Whatever range I can dump (rapid fire, sight and squeeze) an entire mag into, standing with sling, and hit a 12" circle with 75% repeatability. Bolt rifles, scoped rifles, .22s, and single shots get evaluated prone.

Sure that means a 7 shot 1911 and a 30-rd AK or AR get rated differently due to magazine capacity, but then again, that's the best I (myself) can do with it under something even beginning to approach a "real use scenario". It's also more realistic IMHO than asking around for what others can do, using different weapons/sights/ammo/etc.

Using that as a benchmark, I find I don't have a whole-heckofa-lot-of "effective range" (range that I thought I did have from reading books or internet posts) with a rifle. The 1911 though has more range than you might think on paper, so that's my "consolation prize".

Disclaimer: I'm not much of a rifleman at all, but a fair shot with a pistol.
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Old October 10, 2005, 04:46 PM   #23
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Quote:
The AK is more accurate then most people give it credit for, just as the M16 is more reliable then most people believe...
+1

Quote:
Whatever range I can dump (rapid fire, sight and squeeze) an entire mag into, standing with sling, and hit a 12" circle with 75% repeatability.
I think that is a good rule of thumb. I occaisionally get dirty looks in the doghouse for not shooting from the bench, but oh well.
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Old February 4, 2015, 03:30 PM   #24
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AK accuracy

Please take this comment with the utmost respect...

BUT it cracks me up when someone says "My AK, or my rifle is only accurate to......"

What they should be saying is "I can only shoot accurately up to this range"

Do you know how many times at the range I am invited to shoot someone else guns that they have said the rifle or handgun is shooting off to the left, right, high, or low and I've dropped 8 or 9 out of 10 into the bulls-eye that they couldn't hit at half the distance. Again please don't take this the wrong way, but nearly ANY AK-47 that is functioning correctly can be fired accurately well beyond 300 yds. consistently and without much effort in the hands of a skilled shooter.

I hope I don't piss any you off..
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Old February 4, 2015, 03:38 PM   #25
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I hope I don't piss any you off..
Not likely, seeing as few of them are still around reading this thread that's TEN years old.


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